The Gospel reading from the Mass for Tuesday of the 25th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 8:19-21.

As Christ teaches huge crowds in Galilee, His mother and brethren attempt to reach Him but the crowds are too great. Unable to draw close to her Son, Mary sends a message to Christ that she is nearby with His brethren. Christ uses this message, which was perhaps shouted through the crowd, to teach the crowd.  His spontaneous response is powerful: all men and women who do the will of God are His family, and each are related in the Spirit to each other. It is a beautiful proclamation to those hurting, isolated and longing for love and a call for men to recognize that all men are their brothers.

Some mistakenly interpret this event as Christ acting in a callous and divisive way to Our Lady. Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Christ, the Perfection of God, perfectly keeps all the laws, including the 4th Commandment to “Honor your father and mother…” Christ, Person of the Trinity, lovingly causes the Immaculate Conception of Mary and loves her deeply; Christ will crown Mary the Queen of Heaven (Rev 12:1).  As Christ reveals, she “who does the will of the Father is His “mother”; Mary, in her Immaculate Conception,  perfectly does God’s will in her fiat (Luke 1:38). Mary is not shunned; she honored by the Son of God as the perfect example.

Some mistakenly use the reference to the “brethren” of Jesus as proof that Mary had other children; this is false.  As taught by the Church for 2000 years, Jesus was the only child of the Virgin Mary, who remained a virgin her entire life; Jesus had no blood brothers or sisters. A number of points support this truth. Because Hebrew had no word for “cousin”, the word “brethren” was used instead. The “brethren of Jesus” are never called the children of Mary but Jesus is clearly Mary’s son. James and Joseph, mentioned as brethren of Jesus, are actually the sons of another Mary (Matt 27:56). Jesus gives His mother Mary to His disciple John at the crucifixion; Jesus would never have chosen John if He had blood brothers to care for His Mother Mary; this would have been against Jewish laws and customs.

Awed by Jesus ChristPerson of the Trinity, Christ causes the Immaculate Mother of Christ to be born and loves Mary beyond measure.  Son of Man, Christ is the perfection of manhood who perfectly keeps the 4th Commandment to honor His father and mother. Divine Teacher, Christ spontaneously reacts with great wisdom to events, using them to further the explanation of the Gospel.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Men admire men who can “think on their feet” and who can mesmerize a crowd.  Reflect on the Son of God’s awesome omniscience and His ability to spontaneous offer Divine Wisdom to the huge crowds who followed Him.

2) A great and beautify mystery (and dogma) of the Church is the truth that Mary was “ever virgin.” Refresh your understanding of Our Queen’s Perfect Virginity and Motherhood (CCC 487-507) and pray for Christ to help you to honor Mary as He Himself honored Our Lady.

3) Christ makes it clear that to be in His family, men must “hear the word of God and do it”; this is a call for complete obedience to Christ’s will in every aspect of their lives.  Review the Catechism’s teaching about Thy Will be done from the Lord’s Prayer (CCC 2822-2827) and pray for Christ to help you more clearly hear His Will and to do it.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels

Virtue of the Day – Justice

Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful